“…and they shall beat their swords into plowshares.”
Early into 2014, 11 Division School Resource Officers (SROs) Constables Candy Graham, Janet Barr and Troy Lorimer approached their respective area schools; Bishop Marrocco-Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School and Western Technical Commercial School in an effort to garner support and participation in an art contest.
The contest's theme involved showcasing the artist’s work in commemorating the theme of peace, goodwill and community building with police and youth, with an emphasis on moving from violence and destruction to peace and distinction.
The winning artist was Andres Vasquez from Bishop Marrocco-Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School who was assisted in the final competition by fellow student Sarah Watson.
The piece, done in acrylic on canvas, depicts the United Nations bronze statue Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares. Sculpted by Russian artist Evgeniy Vuchetich in 1959, it represents the human wish to end all wars by converting the weapons of death and destruction into peaceful and productive tools that are more beneficial to humankind.
Andres added his own flair and texture to the work, as well as having the Toronto Police Service emblem colors of blue and red streak across the background. Heather Corriveau the Art Department head teacher and Vice-Principal Rita Leone supported the project and were very proud of their student’s keen interest to participate and of course thrilled with their schools win on the art project.
Andres piece now proudly hangs in the 11 Division Unit Commanders office as a conversation piece.